Durama!

Before I completely forget – I wanted to say a VERY Happy Birthday to Andy Taylor today.  While you may no longer be a member of Duran Duran, without you – there would have been no band, and as a result there wouldn’t be this blog or my friendship with so many Duranies around the world – including my writing partner Amanda.  May you continue to enjoy good health and happiness Andy!!

As of late, I have not had a lot of time to be a constant presence on any Duran Duran message boards.  I try to check in when I can, but I seem to only have a few seconds on any given board, not nearly enough time to read, process and write.  It seems as though between my regular duties as “Mom” and writing the blog – there just isn’t enough time leftover for anything else.  That would include writing for the book, which is an entirely different issue that I need to address on a different day.  *takes deep breath*

Yesterday, I decided that it was beyond time I spend some quality time with the few DD boards I tend to visit on any kind of a regular basis and get caught up.  One of those boards is duranduranmusic.com (DDM).  I have to admit that I have grown sick of that board, mainly because there’s never really any good “news” on there.  Where other boards will dissect the music and talk about things that I actually care about – that one just doesn’t.  I’m sure the regular members there would disagree, and that’s OK.  I can only read so many threads about John’s looks, or what members are thinking of right in this moment….those threads are great and they are the things that bind a community together, so I’m not finding fault, it’s just that my time is limited and I have to pick and choose carefully.  I’ve never felt as though I was a part of that board – there seems to be one particularly close knit group that “runs” the board, and although I know some of the people within that group, admittedly I am not one of the “cool kids”, so I’m really not involved.  No bitterness there – I know where I fit in and where I do not.  🙂

So yesterday morning I sat down and began browsing the various threads on DDM.  Almost immediately I noticed that things were not calm and friendly on the board.  There was a battle of nearly epic proportions taking place between members, and unlike other scuffles that have taken place over the years, this one wasn’t really just confined to one thread – it carried over into other threads, and kind of cast a pallor onto the entire board, which is unfortunate.   After getting my fill of personal attacks, name calling and other behavior that I thought I left behind in my sorority house in college, if not middle school or high school (oh yes, I really WAS a sorority sister.  Just imagine that for a second….Ha!), I went over to another board I’ve mentioned here before – www.duranduranboard.proboards.com to read some real news.  Even over on that board, I could feel the tension.  People are ready to snap at anyone, for any reason.  Odd.

Rather than discuss the board issues here, (and I’m really not sure if there is just one issue for either message board….) my point in bringing it up is to draw attention to a strange sort of phenomenon that seems to happen any time there is downtime, desperation and anxiousness in the fan community.

Since December, we have had a single released (AYNIN), the iTunes 9-song version of the album released, and a handful of dates announced – both in the UK and in the US.  We’ve seen the band doing some promotion work in various places.  None of us have a physical album to have and hold, and those who have either not been able to take advantage of buying tickets for the announced dates, or are in places in the world where dates have not been announced don’t even have shows to look forward to.  (yet!)  We all know something is coming our way:  the physical album is coming in March, the tour is coming….well, we know it’s coming.  Eventually.   Duran Duran management has announced the revamping of both dd.com and DDM, but to my knowledge as of this morning, nothing has been completed yet. (although DDM has gone through some big changes as of the website and the pre-sale handling – I just don’t think it’s completely done yet.)  I would assert that the overall sense of anxiousness has led to desperation during this period of downtime.  I keep joking that the community is ready to offer up one another as a sacrifice to the Duran “gods” in return for tour dates – the only thing is that I am really kind of not joking, and the in-fighting on the message boards is only leading up to deciding which one of us is going to be the sacrifice! Go on to any message board these days and you can cut the tension like a knife.  It’s like being in a sorority house on any college campus right before Rush (this is the time spent in early fall and early spring where the houses are trying to recruit new members) – the girls are typically ready to kill one another.  It’s not pretty.  Talk about a Red Carpet Massacre, wow.  Some say it’s like Duranie PMS, and in my opinion they aren’t exaggerating.

While I’m on the subject of Red Carpet Massacre, ever listened to that song with the fan community in mind?  It gives you an entirely different prospective.  During your downtime, I highly recommend it!  Go listen and let us know what you think!

The constant state of Durama seems to come to an ugly head each time we get close to an album release or a full tour being announced – sometimes it’s far worse than others, and of course each message board handles it differently.  Some boards have personalities that are able to diffuse the conflict, and others tend to just allow it to breed and seep throughout the membership of that board.   The cure?  Well, that’s easy – when the band announces the tour and the album is finally (yes, FINALLY!) released, they’ll be far more threads about who is going to what show, where people are staying, and of course the ever-popular “What I’m wearing to the show”.  I almost feel sorry for the male fans sometimes…. 🙂

I’ve had a few fans comment to me that you don’t find the Durama on Twitter.  Oddly, I think you still do.  First of all – it’s probably not quite as inflammatory as it is on the message boards because of the blessed 140 character limit. (as wordy as *I* am, it’s a tough limit to follow!)  However, I’ve seen groups of people gang up on others to the point where they’ve deleted their account, whether justified or not.  I’ve seen the same name-calling as on the boards, and I’ve seen people talk about what is happening on the boards. (hi kettle, meet me, I’m the pot.)  It’s funny how we can all agree that it’s ridiculous, but yet none of us know how to stop ourselves.   I’ve also had more than one (actually FAR more than one) tell me that they don’t consider themselves Duranies because they can’t deal with the drama.

Hell, if I thought that doing that would have stopped it all – I’d have done that years ago and just stuck with the music!  The fact is, you can call yourself anything you want, but if you’re a fan and you’re at all involved in the COMMUNITY – whether it’s on Twitter, on Facebook, on a message board or even the paid fan community – you’re one of us.  You’re a fan.  Learn to love it.  😀

So at this point I humbly and kindly request for the band and their management to take pity on their fans and release some tour dates.  It’s like throwing fresh meat to the lions….it’ll be a frenzy at first, but we’ll all be so busy that we’ll forget what we were fighting over in the first place.   🙂

-R

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